Melting in Murcia
Murcia is the hottest place I have visited in Spain thus far, with Google telling me highs of 38 degrees but various thermometer signs around the city reading up to 46 degrees and it feels that hot too!
With the sun beating down, a lot of the city completely shuts down (beyond the siestas of cities across Spain) from about 2pm onwards through to 5pm. Even smaller, convenience stores, pharmacies and supermarkets! I arrived at 3:30pm in the blistering sunshine and found it unbearable to walk to The Cathedral area where I was staying - I barely saw a single person out and everything was closed! It was like a ghost town. I quickly realised that Murcia, in summer, is an early morning or evening city. People simply just don't go out after 2pm...
However, despite the sun, I still managed to do some exploring (although I swiftly followed suit and stayed inside during the afternoon!)
I visited the cathedral, wandered the surrounding area which looks like it has had a lot of money spent on it. From the Theatre Roma, Casa Consistorial which demonstrate amazing architecture and the overwhelming and stunning cathedral to the swanky shops like Lacoste, Levi Jeans and Sephora which dominate the main city. It's obvious that money has been ploughed into the area surrounding the cathedral over the years, however venturing too far leads to derelict shops and not-so-nice places.
The other main area which I liked was the river, lots of different bridges cross it with traditional architecture meeting more modern architecture. There is a pavement that runs alongside the river and is a wonderful evening walk, you'll find lots of people exercising - walking, cycling or running by the river close to sunset. It also has wonderful views at sunset and beyond the city to the mountains in the distance.
For me, Murcia was just a stop off and a break between cities but it was nice enough for two nights. The closures and extreme heat led to a lot of down time and I wasn't as active as I have been in other cities but it's a nice enough place. Maybe just avoid August.. Unlike me!